Welcome to SCOTSS, representing the trading standards service in Scotland.

The Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS), is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SC047951). Our members are professional trading standards managers representing every Scottish local authority trading standards service.

The Society liaises with local council colleagues across the UK, and engages with government and others around the operation of the consumer protection landscape, providing leadership and consistency to Scotland's 31 trading standards teams. We aim to educate, coordinate, and support.

SCOTSS also maintains the Approved Trader database which is an online portal to all of Scotland's trading standards run assured trader schemes, try it...it's free!

LOCATIONS

Enter your postcode to find your nearest trading standards office location in Scotland.


NEWS

View Workforce Survey report

"The Trading Standards heads of service group, the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS) today released its biennial Workforce Survey Report for the two years to 31 July 2021, which includes a return from every local authority trading standards service in Scotland. The report highlights ongoing concerns around severely reduced staff resources at a time when enforcement issues remain at their highest and, in particular, the immediate risk from an age demographic where 58% of Trading Standards Officers officers are over the age of 50.

The survey finds that the average number of staff in each Scottish council has reduced to under 8 FTE (full time equivalent), less than half the establishment recorded by Audit Scotland in 2002. In 2002 Audit Scotland also found that the two largest services had 50 or more staff each, but in 2021 those same two councils only have 36FTE between them.

Trading standards officers play an essential role in areas such as consumer protection, public safety, the Economy, and the Environment, by ensuring the things we buy are safe, are in the correct amounts, and are as described. That price displays are fair and we are not scammed by the many fraudsters operating across the country, and that environmental claims are genuine. Trading Standards Officers also played a key role in the Covid emergency, and will have an increasing role in the post-Brexit trading environment both domestically and with international imports.

The report also gathers demographic data that highlight serious concerns over sustainability and viability. With almost 2/3 of trading standards officers over the age of 50, an ageing trading standards workforce is perhaps the biggest threat to professional capacity as the critically low level of qualified officers makes it even more difficult to train the next generation.

SCOTSS Chair, Graeme Paton said: This year's survey highlights the concerns that SCOTSS members and others have had for many years around the viability of Scotland's trading standards services. Unsurprisingly, reduced numbers of trading standards officers means fewer investigations and makes law enforcement much more difficult and patchy, bringing real risks to consumers and legitimate business.
"Despite this, trading standards officers have done a fantastic job on the frontline working with Scottish Government on the Covid pandemic, but I am deeply concerned about the future of our service and ask that the local authorities and government works much harder to put trading standards on a sustainable footing."
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